Puff Pastry

serves 4 to 6

225 g plain flour

Sift together into a large bowl.

a pinch of salt

30 g lard

Rub the lard into the flour

85–135 ml iced water

Fork gradually through the flour mixture until a soft but non-sticky dough is formed. Chill, wrapped in cling film, in the refrigerator for 20 - 30 minutes.

200 g unsalted butter,

remove from the fridge for approx 10 minutes before use

prinkle a little flour on the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle measuring about 15 by 30 cm. In the middle third of the strip of dough roll out two x 2cm ears or flaps.

Wrap the butter in either cling film or greaseproof paper and, using a rolling pin, tap the butter into a flattened block about the size of a third of the pastry. The butter should be pliable and about the same texture as the detrempe. Put the butter in the middle of the pastry and fold the ears over. Bring the top half of the pastry over to cover the butter and bring the bottom third up to cover the pastry. Turn 90 degrees so that the pastry is like a book with the spine on the left. Tap the pastry with the rolling pin to flatten the butter in the pastry a little to make ridges.

Carefully roll out, quickly and lightly, until the pastry is 3 times as long as it is wide. Ensure that the corners are always kept square. Fold it very evenly in 3, first folding the top third to the middle and then the bottom third over the top of that. Turn 90 degrees and ridge and roll as before before folding into three again. Always brush off any excess flour.

The pastry has had 2 rolls and folds. Wrap in cling film and put to rest in a cool place for 15

minutes. The rolling and folding must be repeated twice more, the pastry again rested, and then

again given 1 more roll and fold. This makes a total of 5 rolls and folds. If the pastry is still very

streaky with butter, roll and fold it once more. It is then ready for use.